Master of Science
Military members often encounter potentially morally injurious events (PMIEs) during their service. These encounters can put them at higher risk for developing moral injury, defined as the psychological distress following morally-transgressive situations. If untreated, this can lead to negative health outcomes like depression, suicide ideation, and post-traumatic stress disorder. However, the rate of help-seeking among military members experiencing mental health issues is low. Thematic analysis was used to evaluate barriers to mental health help-seeking among individuals with CAF experience, including perceived confidentiality of information, and whether PMIEs impact the decision-making process. The sample consisted of 9 individuals with CAF experience aged 26 to 64 years (M = 48.65, SD = 10.01; 1 woman, 8 men). The results of this study indicate that military personnel are not always comfortable sharing information with health care providers. Results should aid policymakers in creating programs to help facilitate help-seeking and utilization in the military.
Summary for Lay Audience
Military members and Veterans often encounter traumatic events that can put them at higher risk for developing psychiatric disorders such as PTSD and moral injury. If untreated, these can lead to such negative health outcomes as depression, suicide ideation, and substance abuse. However, military members who experience mental health issues are less likely to seek support compared to the civilian population. This study used interviews with CAF Veterans to explore their perceived barriers to help seeking. The sample consisted of 9 individuals with CAF experience aged 26 to 64 years (M = 48.65, SD = 10.01; 8 men, 1 woman). Most participants expressed concerns related to confidentiality of their information within the mental health care system. They were worried that the information shared in their therapy sessions would be shared with their superiors. The results of this study indicate that military personnel are not always comfortable sharing information with a health care provider. Findings will allow clinicians and policymakers to determine whether specific regulations surrounding confidentiality should be modified to facilitate treatment-seeking.
Trahair, Cassidy, "An Interview Study of Beliefs About Confidentiality and Attitudes Towards Disclosure of Moral Injury in the Canadian Armed Forces" (2022). Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository. 8766.
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